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Posts Tagged ‘Alain de Botton’

Alain de Botton Explains His Critical Comments

pleasures_of_work.jpgIn a new interview, author Alain de Botton explained that he never expected (and regretted) that his comments on a book critic’s blog would reach a “large audience” via the Internet.

Literary blogger Edward Champion interviewed the author about his unexpected headlines–de Botton had left a passionate set of messages in the comments section of Caleb Crain‘s blog, responding to a critical review this week. The author explained that critics have a “quasi moral responsibility” to review responsibly, joining a short, fiery list of authors arguing with critics through blogs and microblogs this week.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview: “I think that a writer should respond to a critic within a relatively private arena. I don’t believe in writing letters to the newspaper. I do believe in writing, on occasion, to the critics directly. I used to believe that posting a message on a writer’s website counted as part of this kind of semi-private communication. I have learnt it doesn’t, it is akin to starting your own television station in terms of the numbers who might end up attending.”

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Another Author Stokes Book Review Debate

pleasures_of_work.jpgIn the 21st Century, can one bad print review spoil years of hard work? Following yesterday’s Twitter-versy about a Boston Globe book review, another author railed against a book critic online.

According to the LA Times, author Alain de Botton left an angry message in the comments section of Caleb Crain‘s blog after a harsh review in the NY Times Book Review last week. The author argued that the review would wreck The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work‘s U.S. sales.

Here’s an excerpt from the scathing comment: “it is a review driven by an almost manic desire to bad-mouth and perversely depreciate anything of value. The accusations you level at me are simply extraordinary. I genuinely hope that you will find yourself on the receiving end of such a daft review some time very soon–so that you can grow up and start to take some responsibility for your work as a reviewer. You have now killed my book in the United States, nothing short of that. So that’s two years of work down the drain in one miserable 900 word review.” (Via Jesse Sunenblick)